Layne's big night propels 'Jackets to district title
The Bay Yellowjackets quest for a third straight 1A state basketball championship continued last week, as the boys squad easily advanced to regional play from the district tourney. In their two games at Bay High School, the Yellowjackets beat their two opponents by a combined score of 141-79, with senior Taylor Layne accounting for over a third of the points.
The 'Jackets took on Rector in the first round last Tuesday evening. The Cougars tried to set the tone of the game early with a pair of Easton Tracy treys, as they took a 6-3 early lead. Bay responded in kind, as they reeled-off the next 18 points in a row to take a 21-6 advantage by the end of the first quarter. Caleb Hartgen and Dax Gipson led the onslaught with a pair of threes each in the first, with Dustin Utley adding the fifth.
The Cougars adjusted to 'Jacket's press somewhat in the second quarter, but the Bay squad enjoyed great success from beyond the arc, as they hit a total of 11 three point baskets in the first half. In the frame Layne Austin hit three, with Hartgen, Smith and Taylor all adding another. As a result, the 'Jackets pushed the score to 48-22 at the break.
The second half of the game was all Bay, as they continued to employ a stifling trap defense. The Yellowjackets outscored the Cougars 12-4 in the third, and 9-3 in the fourth, as many of the subs played out the contest to set the final of 69-29.
Layne and Hartgen led all scorers with 13 for the Yellowjackets, Utley was also in double figures with 11 while Gipson and Austin had 9 each. As a team, Bay was 6 for 8 at the free throw line, while the Cougars converted on 5 of 9 attempts. The 'Jackets finished with a total of 13 three-pointers while the Cougars made 4.
The win over the Cougars earned the 'Jackets a spot in Friday's finals against Ridgefield Christian, and Layne rose to the occasion. The talented senior scored 14 of his game-high 38 points in the first quarter, as the Bay squad prevailed over the Warriors 72-50.
Utley got the first basket for the Yellowjackets, followed by a trey, field goal and free throw by Gipson. Layne added a trio of three-balls, a pair of field goals and a free-throw, as Bay took a 23-18 lead after one. He added another 11 in the second frame, complimented by 6 points inside by Utley, as the 'Jackets extended the advantage to 21-15 by intermission.
Following the break the Yellowjackets continued to pressure the Warrior ball-handlers, as they held RC to just 8 points in the quarter. In turn, Layne added another 8 points to his tally in the quarter, Utley added 6 and Gipson a deuce, as the 'Jackets took the frame 15-8, and extend the lead to 59-41.
The fourth quarter was much of the same, as Layne added the trifecta of a three-ball, field goal and free-throw, Hartgen added a late trey and Slade Grove contributed 4 points off the bench. The 'Jackets outscored the Warriors 13-9 in the period to set the final score.
Layne's 38 point night included 8 three-pointers and a 2 for 3 performance at the charity stripe. Utley finished wiith 14, including 12 points in the pivotal second and third quarters, and Gipson finished with 9 points in the win. Alex Burnett paced the Warriors in the loss with 14. As a team the 'Jackets were 8 of 10 from the free-throw line while RC was 8 of 15 from the stripe on the night.
Following the game the All-Conference team was announced, and the Shawn Tillery Player of the Year Award for the boy's was awarded to Layne.